AKA confessions of a guilty Mummy
If you know me in real life please look away now. I am posting this under the cloak of Blog anonymity for reasons of my own parenting dignity.
This weekend my husband's team, Colchester United, were playing in the North, away at Tranmere Rovers' Prenton Park ground. It's been an age since we caught up with the rest of the Northern Exiles and T had a chance to practice the football chants Daddy teaches him in the bath most evenings, so we packed bags and trotted off towards Liverpool for a Saturday afternoon out.
I always consider myself to be a fairly organised person. Whilst camping, it was my husband who had to race a non-toilet trained bare bottomed toddler back from the showers as he'd forgotten to take a clean nappy. I'm usually the one bringing up the rear under the weight of a giant rucksack stuffed with toys, books, snacks and a change of clothes, most of which are now too small (clothes), young (books and toys) or not to his taste (snacks). But hey, be prepared!
This weekend then when T proclaimed himself hungry only five minutes after kickoff, I was organised, with treats for all occasions. What I'd not considered was that he might want not just one or two, but ALL of my emergency rations. Perhaps we're coming up to another growth-spurt (about time too!) or he was just using food as a desperate attempt at distraction from the woeful performance on the pitch. In half an hour, after a large breakfast and lunch, T ate:
One round of cheese on toast (cold and sliced)
One grown-up handful of grapes
One bag of Organix 'No Junk' cookies
One Organix fruit bar and
One disgusting pouch of 'fruit squish'*
He'd also have eaten a Humzinger had Daddy not dropped it onto the floor whilst opening the slippery packet. We had almost 15 sold minutes of plaintive 'umziiiiiiinger, umziiiiiiiinger' until half time, but even with my vaguely lax cleanliness standards (probably the main reason very few people have seen our kitchen!) I couldn't bear to pick it up from the concrete floor coated with the grime of thousands of pairs of football supporters' boots so he could eat it.
So the ref finally blew the whistle. Half time. T was still complaining about being hungry so whilst I took him for a run around (not on the pitch sadly, although he'd have liked that, mostly on a vomit inducing tour round and round the pillars holding the corrugated roof in place) Daddy went in hunt of more food for a 'starving' toddler, and his increasingly hungry mother.
He returned with two of these. Yes, amongst a landscape of lurid fuschia 'sausage' rolls and mystery meat pies, the most suitable foodstuff was the one that helps you work, rest and play. A bloody Mars Bar.
T wouldn't share of course. He ate 3/4 of the whole thing in around half an hour and then dropped the remainder on the floor, cue more tears. I was so ashamed at being the mother of the child with a brown chocolate moustache that I didn't really notice not getting any. On the plus side he was quiet, stopped wriggling and the game finished 1-1.
There is something magical about football. The result of a couple of hours outside, jiggling and watching and jumping up (ahhhhhhhhhh!) and sitting down and jumping up again (yeaaaaaaahhhhh!) and cheering which always knackers me out. T and I both slept all of the way home, even after his massive calorie intake.
Interestingly, since the weekend T has eaten very little. Perhaps for one day only he imagined he was a hamster, and stored that massive combination of snacks and, yes, Mars Bar, in his cheek for future sustinence. That, I tell myself, would make it Not Quite So Bad.
*If anyone can tell me why my lovingly Baby Led Weaned toddler, who has always refused anything pureed, has suddenly decided that sucking these Stage One sweet sachets is the best thing ever, please let me know!